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Every ICF Stake is Necessary (03/30/13)

Posted Saturday March 30, 2013

                                                     By Mike Paradise

  This was to be the night of the first ICF stake event of the season but the $12,000 Taurus Bomber for 3-year-old state-bred pacing colts and gelding “Didn’t Fill.”

  The good news is that unlike a number of these small-size ICF stakes that came up short of entries the past few years and were cancelled, the Taurus Bomber was written back. It’s on the circuit’s conditioned sheet for next weekend.

  Five horses entered this Saturday’s Taurus Bomber—Alequash Hotspur, Big Brad, Innocent Victim, Pain Relief and Silver Devil--however only four were eligible to compete because Big Brad went off stride qualifying for his first start back since his third place finish in Maywood’s $127,000 Abe Lincoln open company pace.

  The race office says it’s “hoping the stake will fill for next Saturday.”

  I say the stake race should go even if only 4 or 5 are entered.

  Obviously I have no problem if the race track makes it a non-wagering event (before the regular card and or better yet, in between some races) if it comes up with a very short field but it’s crucial to our dwindling ICF program that this stake and all other ICF stakes, are raced.

  Cancelling these stakes is detrimental to the state-bred program. It discourages, rather than encourages, owners to buy Illinois bred yearlings and race them in our state.

  Besides, if a trainer puts days and days of hard work to get one of his or her young horses ready for an early ICF stake, that effort shouldn’t be squandered.

  Our once proud Illinois bred program was the backbone of racing in this state. Our deteriorating purses coupled with huge pots elsewhere via casino monies, has made a shambles of our ICF program.

  At one time we used to often have 4,000 mares bred in Illinois. In 2012 only 486 foals were dropped so only makes sense to race every ICF stake on the schedule.

  If the purse account was in the “Red” you could up a viable argument to cancel a stake but it has been in the “Black” for a couple of years now and we’ve still lost about 10 of these state-bred races over the past two years.

  Remember, that $12,000 purse for the Taurus Bomber comes out of the horsemen’s money. Not out of the race track’s pockets.

  Since it’s the horsemen’s money it shouldn’t be up to the racetrack to decide differently.

  Think of it this way:

  The racetrack is like a big bank. It holds the horsemen’s purse account money. The horsemen want to take out $12,000 of it for a stake race but the bank (racetrack) says that’s not a good idea right now, so you can’t have it.

  Sounds a lot like what the common folks have been dealing with on a small island near Greece, doesn’t it?

   Early Invite: Saturday’s $17,000 Invitational Handicap did manage to draw six pacers. It’ll be raced at an earlier-than-normal time as race two, the last half of the Daily Double and the start of the 50 cent Pick 5.

  Here’s how the feature will line-up with program odds: Lennox Blue Chip (6-1, Josh Sutton), Dontgetbyme (8-1, Ross Leonard), Time Time To Roll (5-1, Dave Magee), Thunder Steeler (2-1, Kyle Wilfong), St Elmo Hero (5-2, Mike Oosting) and Fort Silky (7-2, Casey Leonard)/

  The feature was “handicapped” by “Groups” (1-2), (3-4) (5-6), my least favorite Invite. It would have been just as competitive if posts were drawn as they were on every other race on the card.

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here



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